Remember landing your first real job and feeling relieved that you no longer had to worry about making a living? If you were like many of us, your sense of security didnt last long. Soon, you were anguishing about everything from finding a bank to planning for your eventual retirement. Talk about being overwhelmed.
Beth Kobliner's Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties offers a helping hand to young adults suddenly dumbfounded by a deluge of financial issues they aren't prepared for. And even if youre past that stage in your life, you probably know someone who could use the personal-finance advice in this updated version of Kobliner's 1996 bestseller.
Get a Financial Life addresses topics such as handling debt, investing, choosing insurance, and deciding whether to rent or to buy a home. Each chapter lays out the essentials of a single topic, without going into more detail than necessary. Kobliner keeps the information succinct because she knows her readers have so much happening in the rest of their lives. The harried will particularly appreciate the crib notes at the beginning of the book and the vital tips at the end of each chapter.
The books only drawback stems from its broad scope. If readers want to start investing or planning for retirement, for example, they're covered. To find more sophisticated or detailed investing information, they'll need to turn somewhere else. Kobliner does point the way, listing helpful books, publications, and Web sites for future reference. (Although Morningstar.com, regrettably, is missing from her list.)
If you or someone close to you is new to the world of financial responsibilities, or still trying to get a grip on financial matters ten years after graduating from college, this book makes a sound investment.
Peter Di Teresa is a senior analyst with Morningstar.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.